Security has been tightened and more high profile delegates keep flocking the area to monitor the situation ahead of the leaders' arrival.
A welcome banner being erected at the road heading to Katuna town council. Photos by Job Namanya
All is set at Katuna border for Friday’s meeting between President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame.
The meeting aimed at ending a long-standing impasse between the two neighbouring countries will be mediated by the Angolan President, Joao Laurenco and the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi.
Kabale District leaders observing preparations ahead of tomorrow's meeting
The no-man’s land between the two countries, which will be hosting the summit, has been tarmacked and various guest tents have been erected at various spots to enable a peaceful flow of the meeting.
Security has been tightened and more high profile delegates have already arrived ahead of the leaders' arrival.
Construction works were done weeks back and by Thursday, every effort was being made to ensure the venue is up to the standard.
The roads have been upgraded and the bush around slashed. It is a beehive of activity as officials from both countries work to make the venue ideal for the purpose it will serve by the end of the day.
Security at the border is currently manned by UPDF officials
Banners bearing the pictures of the four presidents expected at the venue have been placed across the roads leading in and out of the area. DR Congo president Felix Tshisekedi and Angola president Joao Laurenco are expected to grace the event as the two brotherly leaders discuss the fate of their countries.
According to David Bahati, the state minister for planning, today’s meeting is a ray of hope in the minds of the residents who have for long struggled with the border closure.
The no man's land roads have been tarmacked ahead of Friday's meeting
"We have waited for this day for long and we are so hopeful that after the meeting, our relations as neighbouring countries will be realised. Both countries have had enough preparation for the meeting. We cannot wait any longer for this to happen," said Bahati.
Since February 27 last year, Rwanda put a stop on the movement of goods from Uganda to its territory and it also restricted the movement of its citizens to Uganda.
Efforts to solve the crisis have been going on between the two countries.
In August last year, Kagame and Museveni signed a memorandum of Understanding in Luanda, Angola to end the border impasse. Recently, the two leaders met again in Angola where they resolved to meet again at Katuna/Gatuna border on February 21.
Workers putting final touches on the venue hosting Friday's meeting
Nelson Nshangabasheija, the Katuna town council mayor said that their wish for Friday’s meeting is a long-lasting solution to the standoff.
The One-Stop Border Post building under construction at the border
“We have had enough share of the suffering. Katuna is no longer the busy town it used to be all that is left here are structures without business. We miss our brothers and sisters from Rwanda. This Friday meeting should at least be the best towards the restoration of our lost glory,” he said.